Freeze Frame – Heidi Ayarbe
In this novel, 15-year-old Kyle struggles to remember the fifteen minutes of his life during which he shot and killed his best friend Jason. Kyle gradually puts his life back together over the course of the novel, yet is haunted by guilt and the fear that he killed Jason on purpose. The novel explores the variety of ways in which people come to terms with both guilt and loss. Jason has a tense relationship with his counselor, and struggles to re-develop the close relationship he once had with Kyle’s family. One of my favorite parts of the novel is the friendship Jason develops with Kyle’s younger brother, as he acts as the younger boy’s body guard to protect against bullies. Jason also uses art and video to come to terms with the loss, demonstrating how a creative outlet can assist teenagers in dealing with extreme situations. I recommend this book as an easy and fairly quick read, despite its serious subject matter. It examines a friendship, a mentoring relationship, guilt, and loss from a unique perspective.